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Radiographic localization and isometry of the origin and insertion of the canine cranial cruciate ligament


Corresponding Author

Erin E. Reichert, DVM, VCA Animal Specialty Center of South Carolina, 3912 Fernandina Road, Columbia, SC 29210. E-mail:



To radiographically define the anatomic origin and insertion of the cranial cruciate ligament translated to the lateral radiographic projection of the stifle (CrCL-Lo and CrCL-Li, respectively), to correlate these landmarks for identification of the CrCL-Lo intraoperatively, and to compare the isometry of the CrCL-Lo to the lateral fabella.

Study Design

Experimental study.

Sample Population

Pelvic limbs (n = 12) from dogs weighing 13–26 kg.


A radiographic quadrant method was used to localize the CrCL-Lo. Mediolateral radiographic projections of each stifle were taken through a range of motion. Maximum percent change in length between each tibial marker and femoral marker during range of motion determined isometry.


The CrCL-Lo is located at the caudal 33% and distal 50% of the lateral femoral condyle using Blumensaat's line or a line from the origin of the long digital extensor (LDE) to the lateral fabella, with no significant difference (P = .766) between the 2 reference lines. The CrCL-Li is located at the proximal 20% of the tibial plateau. No significant difference (P < .05) in isometry was found between the CrCL-Lo and lateral fabella.


The CrCL-Lo is located at the caudal 1/3 and distal ½ of the lateral femoral condyle. The CrCL-Lo and lateral fabella are not significantly different in isometry when used as a proximal anchor point in extracapsular stifle stabilization.